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Last week brought the season finales of Supergirl, The Flash, and Arrow. It was a mixed bag; Supergirl botched the landing, The Flash ended better than it probably should have, and Arrow left us with an explosive cliffhanger. We broke down the episodes on the GeekDad Facebook page. Here are some of those discussions, thoughts on these seasons as a whole, and speculation on what next season might hold for the Arrow-verse.
Joey: Is this an episode of Supergirl or an ad for Injustice 2?
Joey: And Superman is surprised that he got beaten by a girl... a Supergirl. Lisa H: Seriously. What is happening?! Joey: Well, if Superman validates that Mon-El is a good guy, we can all forgive his d-baggery, right? Joey: Or we could have, until Mon-El suggested that Superman fight as Earth's champion instead of Kara. Joey: Is Cat putting this on pay-per-view? Lisa H: I don't see why not.
Joey: Oh no! Rhea bleeds green kryptonite!
Lisa H: Well now isn't that just convenient? Joey: I know that the lead dosage isn't supposed to affect humans once dispersed into the atmosphere, but is it really a good idea to stand in the same apartment with the device? Lisa H: Yeah, I'm not sure how that works. I feel like it would be bad. Lisa H: Lead poisoning for everyone! Joey: Uh, use the portal device and send Mon-El to Earth-1? That way he can be a help to Barry, Oliver, and the rest! Lisa H: Did no one think of this??
Verdict: This was not a good episode of Supergirl, much less a stellar season finale. For two seasons, we’ve watched Kara grow and learn to stand as her own woman, to be a hero and to teach Mon-El how to be a hero. But, Superman shows up in the season two finale and all that gets flushed away. From Superman’s surprise that his female cousin beat him in a fist fight (clearly Clark was never on the receiving end of a “purple nurple” from an older cousin when growing up in Smallville… you don’t go picking a fight with your older cousins) to Mon-El’s suggestion that Superman be earth’s champion against Rhea–in spite of the fact that Kara just defeated Superman in a fist-fight–this season finale made it look like all that “strong woman” stuff was only surface level and once you cracked through that and have to save the earth, you’d better call in a dude to do it.
The episode ended on a flat note as well. Mon-El has gone away (I still contend that Kara should have sent him to Earth-1 via Cisco’s portal device, so she could pop back and forth to see him whenever she wanted), so Kara’s family and friends pop out onto the DEO’s balcony to dump a load of cliched platitudes onto a grieving Kara. Just… no. At least Alex and Maggie are getting married, right? We should be getting a lot more time with the best-written couple in the Arrow-verse as they navigate those uncharted relationship waters. Oh, wait… less than a week after we saw Alex propose to Maggie, word comes that Floriana Lima, who plays Maggie Sawyer, will not be a series regular next season. So much for that.
Looking back at season two, we had a overall plot that never really found it’s groove, not even giving us the season-finale antagonist until the final quarter or so of the season, a surface-level platitude about strong women that fell apart the minute the women stood up to be counted among the strong, and what boils down to a one-sentence recap of the season that reads, “When the people she cares about have good relationships, Kara has a season-long bad relationship with a guy who lied to her, manipulated her, gaslighted her, and acted like a jerk at various times throughout the season, right up until the finale when he suggested that Kara sit out this fight to save National City and let the dudes handle it.” Can the show bounce back next season? Sure. After starting off with two solid seasons, Arrow viewers suffered through two pretty terrible seasons, only to see that show really come back around this season, to there is precedent in the Arrow-verse for such redemption. For that to happen on Supergirl, there is going to have to be a lot of soul-searching in the writers room this summer.
Joey: Called it (HipsteR Wells using his face transmogrifier to take Iris’ place). Each season gets its own Wells story. This was season three’s.
Joey: Got the details a little wrong, but the result was the same. Lisa H: BRAVO!!! Also, that was a good death. Lisa H: Point of order... Iris didn't die so how does Savitar even exist? Corrina: Mumble...mumble..time mustcatchup...etc. Lisa H: Yeah, I'm calling baloney on that. Joey: Ridiculous explanation or not, at least it's consistent with the whole "it takes a while for changes to cement" rule established in Legends. Should the change be immediate? Probably, theoretically. Is the idea of time taking a while to catch up consistent within this DC/CW story universe. (But inconsistent with Flash's season one finale, where Eobard's erasure from existence happened immediately after Eddie died)? Sorta. Lisa H: Here's the thing though. I kinda look at Legends relationship with Time differently than those who live in Central City. The Legends live outside of time and so there is an adjustment period for the adjustments Time makes to reach them. But those who live within a timeline in Central City should be affected immediately - see Eobard erasure immediately after Eddie's death. So here to me, they've broken their own rules. Savitar should have disappeared immediately as the reasoning for his existence (Iris' death) no longer happened. So I still call baloney. Joey: Eobard disappeared immediately, but didn't really, since he was a time remnant from that incident all of Legends season two, so his disintegration/erasure from existence happened but didn't happen... sorta. So really, they've established that there are rules, but the producers play fast and loose with them as serves whatever story they're trying to tell.
Joey: Wow, I called this one, too. Season 4 begins with Wally as the Flash and Barry gone.
Joey: Again, a little off on the details, but the same end result... plus, this was from February 1. We've had a lot of episodes since then. Lisa H: Dude. You're psychic! Corrina: I'm sure that's right. But Barry will be back and save the day with style. Because, this time, the writers will give all the mistakes to Wally so Barry can be an awesome bright light ofheroism. (That he never was before....) Lisa H: It does appear as though Barry has learned so I'm going with what Corrina said. Joey: Yes, he'll be the one whose return saves Wally and the team when they get in over their heads.
Verdict: Another uneven season from the Arrow-verse producers (it feels like they were so focused on righting Arrow that they took their eyes off of Supergirl and The Flash a little this season… what’ll happen when they add another series–Black Lightning–to their plate nest season?) They did a better job of establishing the big-bad for the season as Savitar than what was done on Supergirl, but they waited a little too long to reveal Savitar’s identity. The result is tht Savitar was little more than a proverbial mustache-twirling villain with paper-thin motivation. Actually, make that another speedster big-bad who was little more than a proverbial mustache-twirling villain with paper-thin motivation.
Seriously, it’s time to break the “Barry’s worst enemy is himself/his choices” and the “Flash must fight an evil/twisted version of himself/his powers” molds. Hopefully, Barry will be spending some extended time in the Speed Force next season, giving us a new take on the Flash with Wally taking up the mantle as the Central city speedster hero and allowing the writers to use that opportunity to take a different path with it comes to approaching villains.
Much of the season has ranged from disappointing (Barry still makes terrible, selfish choices) to predictable: Iris won’t die, HipsteR Wells will use the face-changing tech to sacrifice himself and save Iris, the writers will try to paint Barry as compassionate in attempting to reconcile with Savitar–who just tried to kill Iris and did kill HR– just like Kara tried to reconcile with Mom-El (who killed Dad-El, tried to kill Kara, invaded the city and probably killed/injured countless regular folks) and Oliver attempted to reconcile with Malcolm (who tried to level The Glades and brainwashed Thea into killing Sara) but instead of compassion just comes across as idiotic, and Barry disappearing and leaving Wally as the Flash to start season four. However, by the episode’s end, it appears that maybe, just maybe, Barry is starting to become the hero he is supposed to have been all along. Maybe. It only took the deaths of Barry’s parents, Eddie, Ronnie, HipsteR Wells, Earth-2 Joe, Flashpoint Wally, and who knows how many others across the various worlds and times to get to that point.
As Corrina pointed out, “That’s a high learning curve there, Barry.”
Joey: Slade dropping the wisdom. I’ve missed him these past few seasons.
Lisa H: Daddy issues again?!?! Joey: This show is LOST with superheroes. A mysterious island, flashbacks, and daddy issues all around.
Joey: That can’t be the end for John Barrowman. Can’t Be.
Joey: At least by having his "death" occur off-screen, it left the door open to an eventual return. Lisa H: No!! Not John Barrowman!! Lisa H: Okay. So what's the over/under on Malcolm surviving?? Joey: According to Barrowman, his contract is up and not renewed. (Just like Manu Bennett's, Caity Lotz's, and Katie Cassidy's were...)
Joey: Chase is the dead man’s switch for the C4, right?
Joey: Of course he is. Joey: This is the same conundrum as on Supergirl and The Flash. Mon-El or the earth? Iris or everyone else? William or the rest of the team? Seriously... the same on all three shows. Lisa H: They only have one idea and it has to work for all the shows.
Verdict: What an ending! I mean, we already know which actors are signed as return in recurring roles next season, so that takes a little bit of the edge off of the cliffhanger, but what a way to close out this chapter of the series. The callbacks to the pilot episode in the season five finale were on-point. This episode effectively ended the flashbacks to the “five years in Hell”, and making that break by blowing up Lian Yu was more than symbolic, it was cathartic, even if it left the fate of the team, the bad guys like Artemis and Black Siren, and William’s mom up in the air.
Again, I think that so much focus was put into nailing this season of Arrow and closing out this chapter strongly that it might have impacted the storytelling on the other shows. That said, this season was a textbook example of getting back to the core of the characters and of the storytelling that got you fives seasons of a series while still having those characters grow. The best example might be in how it looks like Oliver is starting to mature to the point where reconciliation with Felicity is not only possible but strongly hinted at, an evolution from their earlier, toxic relationship. You know, assuming she survives the explosions.
There’s not much more to say about Arrow. This season as a whole and this episode in particular are examples of this series doing what it has done best all along. Was this season as strong as the first two seasons? No. Was it a return to form after two less-than-stellar seasons? Absolutely. Of the three series that wrapped up their seasons this week, Arrow is the one I’m most looking forward to seeing where it takes us next fall. And, if I may make a request, can the producers make sure that whatever they have planned that they bring Deathstroke along?
This concludes our analysis on the DC on The CW shows for this season. Tell us your thoughts on the season finales and on the seasons as a whole in the comments below. Let us know what you expect or hope for when these shows—along with Legends of Tomorrow—return next fall. Join us on the GeekDad Facebook page to continue the discussion, and watch for our posts with each new episode to resume there next fall.